Night Shift and The Purple People Eater

Wednesday:

Another early morning. I had to finish some homework before heading to class. As I was working on the homework, I began  to think about the events of the next few days, and just how utterly sleep deprived I am going to be. (You’ll find out why.)

WP_001320Class was educational and then I had to go to a seminar. During class, I ate Dannon Light and Fit Greek Peach yogurt topped with some chis seeds. On my way to the seminar, I could feel some hungry starting to arise so I swung by Wawa. Thanks for the convenient snack packs, Wawa!WP_001321

I always have issues driving in Bear… I’m always getting lost! I found the location and we learned about stroke prevention. Our project is to conduct stroke assessments on members of our communities to evaluate their risk for a stroke.

I was starving when I got home, so I grabbed a quick bite and I’m headed to bed.

I am working night shift tonight, so I’m praying I’ll get some  sleep before then. Tomorrow night, I am attending a black and gold (ie. we wear black and gold). My girlfriends are in a sorority and I go every year, which is why I was freaking out about having a dress.

Thursday:

I was woken up by my mom and step dad last night. Must they always feel the need to talk outside my bedroom foot when I’m sleeping?
I like to start nightshift with a smoothie. All the protein and fresh fruit gives me an nice buzz to get me going. Yesterday, was National Strawberry Day, so i wanted to incorporate some in my shake. I must say, though, the blueberries took control of this one. “Mom, is it weird that I just named my smoothie ‘the purple people eater?'” “Yes.” “Thanks, mom.”

Into the bullet went:WP_001322
spinach,
frozen strawberries,
half a frozen banana,
fresh blueberries,

vanilla protein powder

raw cashew butter,

ice
When it was all mixed up, it was a purple “monster.”
WP_001325

I’m pretty happy about my eating last night. Julie is always raving about Milk Chocolate Moose Munch,but last night was the first time I got to try it. Can you guess what I liked the most about it? The nuts, duh!!! I also snacked on baby carrots, these new Back to Nature Sweet Potato and Cinnamon crackers I’ve recently been obsessed with, and granny smith with Chocolate PB2 and graham crackers.

WP_001326   WP_001329  WP_001327

Eight hours, three cups of coffee and a dark chocolate covered espresso bean, I kept busy most of the night and even caught up on some reading for school.

WP_001328

Antioxidants

You know I never let anything go to waste. I had blanched a pear in some lemon juice and frozen it a while back. I woke up really wanting to use this pear in a shake this morning. I had seen a couple shake recipes using pears so I played of of those to make this mornings shake:

1/2 frozen pearWP_001074

1/4 to 1/2 frozen banana slices

2 -3 tsp cashew butter

1 scoop Herbalife Vanilla Formula 1

1/2 pkt Fruitein Rainbow Shake mix*

1 cup Bai5 Brasilia Blueberry

handful of kale

1/4 tsp xanthum

ice

I wanted something filling, with some natural sugars to keep me powered through this study day. This shake is like an antioxidant heaven!

Studying ensued for the rest of the day. I realized I needed my first study break after a period of delirium when I began baby talking to Beauty… a quick little circuit should do the trick.

Back to studying until hunger kicked in… As I grabbed some Wasa, nutella, and Planters Berry PB, mom went and got Arby’s for dinner (Yay, coupons!). French dip with a bit of horsey sauce! Yum!

I also had an Orange Cranberry Gnu bar, which did a great job holding me over for a while! (look for the Gnu review, coming soon!)

Studying for the rest of the night! Wish me luck tomorrow!

* I found Fruitein at the co-op and wanted to give it a try. The Rainbow flavor caught my eye as a power house of health! It has over 115 Whole Food Concentrates. I mean, the ingredients list blows my mind: white fig, carrot, pomegranate, yellow pepper, pineapple, garlic, spirulina… and things I’ve never heard of: noni? mangosteen? wolfberry? The shake is vegetarian and gluten free.

Lights Out

Image

toasty…

Since yesterday was an early day, I feel asleep super early! But, of course, my phone started ringing at 2000. I tried to ignore it, but it just kept ringing. Then, as I hung up with the person on the other line, the power goes out. We made it through Hurricane Sandy with only a few flickering lights, but for some reason, the power lines couldn’t stand up to the cold. My mom went into manic-mode, lighting candles and such. Me? My phone was charged and the alarm was set. I curled up next to the fire place for some warmth, and relaxed. But unfortunately, I could not fall back asleep, especially with mom calling the power company, on speaker phone, every 25 minutes! So I whipped out my phone and started working on some posts for you all!

Image

Apparently power outages have
no effect on this Sleeping Beauty…

The power came back on around 0130. Just in time for me to watch a great movie, called Canvas! I finally fell back asleep around 0300, I would say. Apparently, the universe prefers me sleep deprived…

On another subject, I found this link last night after I mysteriously developed an overwhelming appetite. The article discusses seeing food as “good” or “bad.” I began to feel really guilty about not working out, yesterday. I felt even worse after eating so much later in the night. A few sentences really stood out to me so I thought I’d highlight them for the overly anxious, bingers and  health seekers, like me.

the quality and the balance of what you eat may play a bigger role in weight control and the regulation of your metabolism than the calories alone.

A study found that a daily variance of as much as 600 calories won’t reflect on your waistline, as long as you maintain a healthy diet in the long run.

                Researchers believe that little to no weight gain occurs because healthy individuals usually “undereat” one day and “overeat” on another. So in the end, it all evens out. As long as you’re eating healthy most of the time, having an occasional treat won’t wreck your diet.

I need to remember that although I’ve been rather over indulgent this week, I can even it out. I can’t stress or crawl in my corner.

Now lets get into the goods. Good as in tasty, that is…

I planned this breakfast a few days ago while making the Walnana Muffin Cookies. I decided to use Katie’s melted banana trick in my oatmeal. I was surprised when my mom ask me to make her one too! I was really impressed with how it turned out! If I wasn’t so full from this stick-to-your-ribs breakfast, I would have eaten another bowl! Yeah, its that good!

Walnana (Banana Bread) OatmealImage
serves 2

1 cup rolled oats
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup Flax Milk (or milk of your choice)
1 1/2 to 2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 bananas
1 Tbsp Artisana Walnut Butter
1/2 tsp Splenda brown sugar, or 1 tsp brown sugar

Combine oats through cinnamon in a pot, stir, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to simmer. Simmer for about 25 minutes, stirring often. After 15 minutes, cut bananas in half, place in a bowl and microwave for 45 seconds. Pour the fruit into the simmering oats, add the walnut butter. Stir really well ensuring the butter is fully dissolved. Sprinkle the brown sugar over top. Give it a quick stir and serve. Each bowl gets a heaping cupful!

ImageNutrition Facts, per serving:
Calories: 303
Fat: 8.7g
Sat. Fat: 1.1g
Cholesterol: 0mg
Sodium: 21.4mg
Carbs: 52.9g
Fiber: 7.5g
Sugar: 14.2g
Protein: 7.4g

Image

melted banana

Melting the bananas really brings out their natural sugars and allows the fruit to really distribute evenly throughout the oatmeal; and adding the walnut butter while it was cooking, gave the oats a smoother texture. I topped mine with some chopped walnuts to add a crunch. I was going for a banana bread feel, but the milk added a creaminess that made it a bit of banana creme pie-like. Wow this was good!
Speaking of pie. Today is National Pie Day! Being the nerd that I am, I usually celebrate Pie Day on March 14th. Get it? 3.14?
I thought about it… Pizza pie or fruit pie? But banana creme pie-ish oatmeal counts, right? Sure, why not? I won’t tell if you don’t.

I enjoyed the oatmeal with a mug of some new herbal tea I picked up at the co-op, yesterday.

Image

While I waited for my oatmeal to fluff up and cook, I tried my hand at some homemade cashew Imagebutter. I used about 1/2 lb raw cashews, and soaked them in water over night. I was surprised by how much water the nuts soaked up.

I drained the cashews and popped them in the Magic Bullet. Every so often I removed the whipped cashews and gave the whole nuts a shake. As the butter accumulated I removed it from the bullet. Never having had store-bought cashew butter, I wasn’t really sure how it was supposed to taste. I will say, I loved the smooth consistency  I also sprinkled a little less than 1/4 tsp of salt into the mix.

Image

Image

Dinner tonight was the Lean Cuisine I’ve been putting off eating! I added some of the baby carrots, as planned, to the broccoli,a sprinkled some black pepper. The meal was pretty decent. Theres a lot of the gravy and I wasn’t quite filled enough. If I get it again, I’m going to need more veggies. The flavor was good and the steak tender, but lacking in mushrooms. This frozen meal has a lot of potential.

Image

I snacked on some graham crackers and PB, the best hospital snack ever! And tapped into the homemade chips and salsa one of the nurse’s brought in. I love fresh, homemade salsa!

Even though the oatmeal was pretty darn spectacular, the highlight of my day was booking my flight to San Jose, for my trip in April! Every year I try to attend the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society International Convention. I’ve been blessed with being able to afford Seattle, two years ago, and Nashville, last April. I’m glad I have some time to save up some dinero for the trip!

Venison Crock Pot: Recipe #1

I woke up in a major funk this morning! I hoped that a protein shake would help brighten my spirits a bit. My dad got me a big bag of Welch’s Four Berry frozen berries. I wanted to use some of my new sunflower butter to see how that would work in a shake but then I remembered I bought this little nifty cashew butter packet from Artisana the last time I was at Wholefoods:

I figured, “Hey! Berry on berry!”

Cashew butter isn’t like normal PB. Its so much smoother and creamier and the berry flavor is so light.

I still couldn’t shake the funk and heading off to class did not help…even though this is my LAST semester!

Apparently, the birds weren’t pleased with me either…

My car was completely bombed!
Okay… now onto the food:

So over the winter break, while visiting some family, I learned that my uncle hunts. My aunt offered me some venison, and never having cooked it, I gladly accepted the challenge. I scoured the internet for some recipes until I found one that my dad really wanted to try. Then I did a little research on preparing and cooking this roast. The followed this recipe and added some tweeks of my own… and thus this deliciousness was created!!

Creamy Onion Venison
serves 10

2 1/2 lbs venison
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can Fat Free Cream of Mushroom soup
1/4 cup red wine
1 Tbls low sodium soy sauce
1 (1oz) package dry onion soup and dip mix
7 oz (large) onion
1/4 cup water
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
3 1/2 oz sliced raw mushrooms

Remove as much fat off the venison as possible. I learned that the more fat, the more gamey-er the taste. Cut a few slits into the roast and stuff with the minced garlic and lay at the bottom of the crock pot. Cover with sliced onion and drizzle the sauces.Sprinkle in the dry onion mix. Pour the soup in a bowl. Pour the wine in the soup can and swirl around to get as much soup out of the can as possible and pour into the bowl with the soup.Repeat with the 1/4 cup of water. Mix the ingredients in the bowl and pour over the roast and onions. Cook  on low from morning to dinner time.
30 minutes before serving, add the mushrooms.

We ate this stroganoff-style, over noodles. I’m a HUGE fan of House Food’s Tofu Shirataki Noodles. I prepared the fettuccine style noodles and topped with 4oz of meat and some of this deliciously light gravy.

My dad, and even my picky  step-dad went to town and raved about this recipe!! Enjoy, ya’ll!

PS          The next crock pot recipe I’m doing is also one I have never made before: White Turkey Chili.
Some recipes add corn and/or tomatoes, both of which would probably taste great in this… What are your thoughts?